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Linden Lab

Looking for something to do in Second Life? With thousands of places to visit, how do you find the one you’re looking for? This week’s QuickTips video tutorial provides tips on using Search, Events and the Destination Guide to seek and find the cool places you want to explore. Watch our newest QuickTips video tutorial

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Every week our Destination Guide editorial team pores through the many awesome submissions for new locations and events. Below are a few of the newest Destination Guide entries that stuck with us. They could be an alien invasion through darklit corridors, an intricately detailed fantasy setting or even a surreally romantic metallic swamp. So if you’re looking for something to stimulate that creative spark, why not take a look below? Or join in the fun and submit your own?

 

 

 

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Marathon Caye Spring Awakening Hunt

Welcome to the newest installation at the Woods of Marathon Caye: the fine arts gallery. Come here for featured Second Life artistry and an enjoyable place to socialize. Marathon Caye is in full spring season mode as well, so why not try their Spring Awakening Hunt. Explore the sim to find spring daisies bearing gifts. Happy hunting!

Visit in Second Life

 

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Tainted Dreams

Tainted Dreams is a romantic fantasy sim built for anyone looking to go on a fantastic date. Dinner under the stars, dancing on the moon, cuddling under love trees, everything is perfectly designed for you and that special someone. Come explore this dreamy custom built sim, together.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Dragonlolth

Dragonlolth is a fantasy realm for those seeking to lose themselves and explore this most magic of realms. Perfect for dragons, fae, elves and more, all are welcome in this intricate sim and dazzling sim.

Visit in Second Life

 

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The Sounds Lounge

The Sounds Lounge is an open-stage music venue with a laid-back, indie vibe. Come and play your own music whenever you want, listen as live performers showcase their talents and rocking DJ's mix a wide range of sounds. The Sounds Lounge is an open and free hangout for all who enjoy a sense of home, comfort, individuality and appreciate great live music.

Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab

Millions of people have registered for Second Life -- so chances are pretty good that there’s a community that shares your interest or hobby inworld. Connecting with people who share your interests is easier when you know how to efficiently explore the thousands of Groups and Destinations inside Second Life.

To learn more about how to find friends and connect to conversations that share your interests, watch the QuickTips tutorial video at:

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Find even more tips on joining Groups and connecting with communities in Second Life in our KnowledgeBase.

Did you miss our previous QuickTips videos? Check ‘em out!

BK Linden

Efforts to improve operating focus and cost structure have resulted in two consecutive quarters of strong cash flow and profitability with Q1 2011 the most successful in Linden Lab’s history.

Regarding Customer Support, we made some changes late last year that unfortunately impacted Residents with longer resolution times. Over the last few months, we have worked through the backlog and have returned to 24- to 48-hour resolution times for nearly all types of issues. We continue to add resources and adjust processes to further improve resolution times and customer satisfaction, especially for more complex issues.

After launching the new SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes in late Q1 2011, and improving the new user registration experience in early Q2 2011, we have seen over 33% improvement in new daily completed registrations when compared to recent months. This is an early indicator that usability improvements are having an initial positive impact with more significant ones still to be delivered over the coming weeks and months.

In Q1 2011, measures of the size and strength of the Second Life Linden Dollar economy improved slightly while users, usage and world size were consistent with the last few quarters.

For a definition of the metrics in this charts below, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.

DAILY COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS
There has been a positive trend since the new registration experience was introduced on April 11.

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AVERAGE MONTHLY REPEAT LOGINS
Average monthly repeat logins have been virtually unchanged over the previous 3 quarters.

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USER HOURS
Similarly, user hours have remained consistent over the last 3 quarters.

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AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE
The value of the Linden dollar has continued to improve from Q4 2010 and is at its highest level in the last 6 quarters. 

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*Note that the exchange rate is expressed in L$/USD, meaning larger numbers represent a lower L$ value and smaller numbers represent a higher L$ value. The average rate is calculated by dividing the total L$ exchanged through the LindeX by the total US$ exchanged through the LindeX in the quarter.

L$ SUPPLY
The US dollar value of Linden dollars held by Residents of Second Life has increased for the third consecutive quarter.

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LINDEX VOLUME
In Q1 2011, the LindeX Volume was at its highest level in the last 6 quarters.

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WORLD SIZE
World size has also stayed within a 1% range over the last 3 quarters.

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Linden Lab

The Second Life Team has been busy shipping lots of updates ( big, small, and medium) to the Residents of Second Life. These last few months alone, we’ve burned the midnight oil to get a ton of things showtime ready - and we thought the end of the year was a good time to recap just some of the highlights from Q4.

Raising the “Prim” Limits for Mainland and Private Regions

Raising the Land Impact allowance for Mainland and Private Regions allows you to do more with your virtual space! If you’re creating, building, or re-decorating, more Land Impact means more fun! We are excited to see the ways these new Land Impact increases are sparking creativity and ingenuity with Residents all over the Grid. The new option to upgrade to 30,000  Land Impact Limit has been extremely popular as well. We're happy to see so much interest - just in time for some seasonal decorating!

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Maintenance Maintenance Maintenance

The SL team has been, as always, plugging away on keeping the plates spinning.  Each Maintenance Viewer, Web, and Server release contains multiple fixes that include performance improvements, bugfixes, crash fixes, and tons of small feature work. Unglamorous on its own, this work is what  keeps Second Life humming along and this work is our most responsive branch - we often take small feature requests and get them out to Residents in a matter of weeks.

Horizons

Horizons - Residents are having a great time playing through the Horizons experience and carving out their own piece of the Horizons community as well! It’s sci-fi retro fun, and something we were delighted to launch publicly. If you want to scan current listings you can do so by visiting the auctions page. More parcels will be auctioned out soon!Horizons_Billboard_final2.png

360 Snapshots

360 snapshots is in Project Viewer stage. Dramatic new fully panoramic views of Second Life for social media, blogging, and whatever you can imagine are now possible!  We are looking forward to getting that out in the main Viewer soon.

 

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Bento - Extending the Avatar Skeleton

Well, by now you’ve heard the news.  It’s done!  By far the most significant change to the Second Life avatar in a long time, this is already empowering users to create fantastic new avatars, animations and accessories. Bento heads, hands, and much more to come from our super innovative creators. One of the most exciting parts is to see what the creator communities dream up for Bento! There’s a Knowledge Base article about the enhanced skeleton for those creators who want to find out more, and a quick search for “bento” on the Marketplace shows work is already being created that utilizes the new feature.

 

Facial Animations (Credit: Screen capture from video by

, Catwa Head)

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 Finger Sliders (Credit: Screen capture from video by

, Vista Animations mesh hands w/ “Fate Hand Poser”)Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 1.12.49 PM.png

 Community Gateways

We've resurrected and modernized our technology for enabling communities and educational institutions in Second Life to build their own account creation and user introduction gateways. A number of new gateways are ready to open, with more joining soon. Keep an eye on this blog for more information about the application process and the program - coming soon!

Website Update

A major update of the infrastructure for secondlife.com brings improvements in security and maintainability. This was a long labour of love and all of the teams who worked on it performed miracles of concentration and cooperation to get it done. It may not be a very visible change, but it was a huge undertaking and we are happy to have it implemented site wide.

Community

Creepy Crawl & Costume Contests

Halloween is a special time of the year in Second Life. It’s a graveyard smash to join in the fun with a get-together that travels around the Grid, sharing our costumes and good times with others. Add costumes and dancing to the mix to kick things up a notch and you have a full on party! We certainly loved seeing everyone in their Halloween best.creepycrawl pic by naria panthar.jpg

Shop til You Drop Inworld Shopping Event

We gathered some of the finest in spooky items from a variety of Merchants and had them set up shop for your one stop Halloween shopping. It really brought the spirit of Halloween to the misty little village.

Marketplace 12 Days of Savings Sale

This year, we once again joined forces with some of the top-selling Merchants on the Marketplace to bring you wonderful holiday deals - up to 70% off - in the 12 Days of Savings Sale.

Snowball Showdown

Residents and Lindens took to the Snowball Fight Arena once more for an epic battle of snow-flinging, ice-slinging action. There’s lots of sparing of wits, words, and especially winter snow! snowballfight pic by torley.jpg

Jolly Holiday Crawl

Before the aforementioned battle of snowballs, we all took a nice peaceful crawl across four beautifully decorated winter regions. Chatted, plotted our snowball strategies, and enjoyed one another's company while listening to holiday music. It’s always nice to gather with friends and have a good time.

Winter Wonderland

Your winter should include a trip to this amazingly whimsical and beautiful region put together especially for the holidays. True to its name, this is a spectacular spot to visit when you have some time to play in the snow, ride the Ferris Wheel, hit the hills on a sled, and get some snowball fighting in.Winter_Wonderland_002.png

 

We look forward to bringing you much more in the coming year - some of which is already well underway - and we’ll continue to share news with you on our blog as even more exciting things develop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linden Lab

We hope you’re all having a lovely Valentine’s Day in Second Life! If you logged in during the period to be eligible for the special gift from Linden Lab, today you’ll find an extra L$10 from us in your account by midnight (PT) tonight - it’s just a little something that we hope will brighten your day.

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone special inworld? There are lots of options for less than L$10 in the Valentine’s Day category on the Marketplace - you can see them all here. And, of course there are thousands of items in the entire Valentine’s Day category, which you can browse here.

If you don’t yet have any plans for Valentine’s Day inworld, we’ve got you covered! The Destination Guide team has been sifting through the many and varied recent submissions to highlight a few things you might want to check out today:

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The Stupid Cupid Hunt

That Cupid, he's so stupid! Flying around, shooting arrows everywhere, making everyone dizzy, trailing little hearts wherever he goes... He's trying to make love matches all across SecondLife! It's time to stop Cupid before he gets any more stupid! Find the arrows at stores across SL to lead you to Cupid's love nest and fall in love with over 20 sponsor prizes! Running from February 1st to the 15th, don't miss it.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Deesha World of Romance

This is a unique and romantic world is actually two breathtaking areas separated by the thinnest of veils. Bring that special someone to this alien wonderland!

Visit in Second Life

 

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Aoxomoxoa

Aoxomoxoa is a romantic place and club, and a wonderful place to meet new people, make friends and just have fun. Come for the romance, stay for the location.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Notre Dame Cathedral

One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Second Life, this sim provides ample gardens for reflection, contemplation and meditation. Based on the famous Notre Dame cathedral, this is a peaceful reflective place to step back from the busy clutter of the virtual world. Best viewed with maximum graphics, turn urn up that draw distance!

Visit in Second Life

 

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One Billion Rising

On February 14, for 24 hours starting at midnight (Pacific), Second Life residents will join with activists around the world in a spectacular 24-hour dance event for ONE BILLION RISING. This will be the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. More info including a full schedule of events at onebillionrisingsl.wordpress.com.

Visit in Second Life

 

You can also peruse the romance category in the Destination Guide for many more, and as always, please submit your ownspace or event if you’d like it to be featured. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Linden Lab

This week, the server component of Project Sunshine will go live across the entire grid! This means that all the improvements we discussed in our previous post will be available to everyone in Second Life.

It’s important to remember that you need to be using an up-to-date Viewer to enjoy these improvements. If you’re still using an outdated Viewer, the server-side changes rolling out now will cause you to see some avatars as broken or incomplete. As of this week, all avatars will be using the new system and will appear broken to you if you don't update.  

If you haven’t already, please update your Viewer now and enjoy Sunshine!

Catch a look at what Project Sunshine has to offer

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Linden Lab

Last February we announced the limited release of the new Sunshine Viewer, which made some updates to Project Sunshine.

Now gridwide, the Sunshine V2 Viewer offers even more stability and other performance improvements. The work includes better retry logic, removes old client-side baking framework, and an assortment of appearance related bug fixes.

Another big feature that debuts with this update is the viewer support for AISV3. The bulk of the work was inventory-related, which not only sped up inventory operations but also greatly reduced the failure rate when performing outfit changes!

So if you happen to notice quicker avatar renderings, faster scene loading, seamless region crossing, or just better overall router stability, these are all objectives of Project Shining.

It will require a Viewer update, so do it now and enjoy the Sunshine!

 

 

Linden Lab

Since late 2015 we have been testing a

on the Aditi test grid, working with content creators. Today we’re announcing the second wave of Bento skeleton improvements!

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This release will be available on Agni, making it available to a much wider audience. However, this is still a limited release, until we’re confident enough that this could be a release candidate and ultimately be part of the release Viewer. Creators, recipients, and anyone wishing to view the new content must be running the latest Bento Project Viewer.

If you encounter Bento avatars and are not using the Bento Project Viewer, you may see some strangely behaving avatar animations and meshes. If you're using a very old (i.e. no longer supported) viewer, encountering Bento content may even cause a crash; updating to the latest Bento Project Viewer will prevent this problem.

We’ve worked very hard these past few months and could not have done it without the help of our community.

and check out the Knowledge Based article to get more information. Thank you and enjoy!

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Linden Lab

We very happy to announce a major milestone for an exciting update to Second Life avatars…

 

You might remember the first introduction back in December 2015: we opened up Resident participation for Project Bento. Bento greatly extends the avatar skeleton, allowing the creation of many new kinds of exciting content. Today we are happy to announce the next phase in the development. The Bento Viewer is now a Release Candidate Viewer! This is the last stage before becoming the official release Viewer.

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If you are interested in avatar content creation, please give the new Viewer a try, and if you encounter problems, please let us know right away by filing a JIRA bug report. We believe the skeleton and sliders are in their final state, but the Release Candidate Viewer is intended to give us the opportunity to test with a much larger number of users to be sure we're ready to deploy throughout Second Life. It’s very important to hear about any remaining problems as soon as possible. You can also review the release notes for this Release Candidate.

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Thanks to everyone who has made Bento possible through your ongoing enthusiasm and feedback! With your help, Bento will soon be ready for integration to the main Second Life viewer, allowing all Residents to enjoy even more innovative avatars.

Linden Lab

Linden Lab is proud to announce that Project Bento is now part of the default Viewer! Bento is probably the single most extensive update to the avatar skeleton ever, and as a result of countless hours of testing, updating, reconfiguring, testing… you get the picture, we are now live!

Now everyone can enjoy the extra bones creators have taken advantage of to bring you true quadrupeds, winged avatars, fingers, facial expressions and more.

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Gif taken from Medhue Simoni’s video. Check out the full video

to see just how powerful this new feature is!

We’re working on launching an all new set of Best Practice docs just for Bento. It’ll include tutorials and write ups brought to you by the Residents that helped make Bento a reality. Stay tuned for updates in the coming year.

To learn more about Project Bento you can visit the Bento Knowledge Base article for details. As always, if you encounter any bugs or issues please let us know right away by filing a JIRA bug report. We hope you enjoy this feature and look forward to seeing all the great things Bento can do for Second Life avatars. Grab the latest default viewer download to start enjoying Bento today! 

 

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Above gif taken from Strawberry Singh’s YouTube video. Full video can be viewed

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Above gif taken from Strawberry Singh’s YouTube video. Full video can be viewed here.

Linden Lab

We were recently contacted by Back2back Productions, a production company in the UK, about a documentary series they’re working on, one episode of which will feature stories of couples that first met online.

For the episode, they are currently looking to speak with UK-based Second Life users “who have solid relationships/marriages as a result of meeting in these online communities, but also couples who are together online but not yet in real life.”

They describe the planned piece as “an entirely positive exploration of these relationships and plans to overturn people’s misconceptions through honest storytelling – it’s very much about ‘love conquering all.’”  

They’re seeking couples of all kinds, but at least one person in the couple should be UK-based.

If this sounds interesting to you and you have a story to share, you can reach the production company directly at jamie.stratton [at] back2back.tv. All initial conversations will be strictly confidential.

Linden Lab

Today we’re thrilled to be rolling out another perk for Premium members: now you can be a member of 60 groups! Groups have been a consistently popular feature among the Residents of Second Life. It may not be obvious, but group membership can have an impact on the performance of a number of systems. That's why in Second Life's early days, Residents could only join a maximum of 10 groups. Over the years, we've made improvements that enabled us to raise the group limit to a maximum of 42, but we know that for some power users, even that isn't quite enough, and today we're happy to raise the bar for Premium subscribers.  We must make sure that the recent gains in group performance are not jeopardized, so for now the new limit is a pilot program. If there are no problems, we will look forward to raising the limit further (stay tuned!).

Premium members can immediately take advantage of the new limit. Downgrading from Premium membership will not remove you from any of your groups, but it will mean that you cannot join any new groups until you remove yourself from enough groups to get below the Basic account limit, which remains at 42.

There are many reasons to maintain a Premium membership in Second Life, and we hope this increased group membership limit makes Premium subscriptions even more attractive. We’ll be adding even more benefits and features for Premium members throughout the year.

Learn more about Premium membership and upgrade your account today. You can pay for your subscription monthly, quarterly, or annually - and the annual plan in particular is a great value. In addition to a total savings of more than $47 compared to a monthly subscription, the value of the weekly L$ stipend means the membership nearly pays for itself!

Xiola Linden

Second Life’s 12th birthday is fast approaching and we’re kicking things off with a special treat for Premium members. There will be more fun for all members to enjoy throughout the month - so stay tuned to this blog for the details as we all celebrate a dozen years of Second Life.

Splish Splash - it’s a Tiki Beach Bash!
Premium members - this one is just for you, so be sure to save the date! We’ve lit the tiki torches and brushed up on our fruity drink-mixing skills to host a casual gathering with the added bonus of early access to our Official Second Life 12th Birthday commemorative avatar.

That’s right - come to the SL12B Premium Meetup on Thursday June 11th from 10:30 to 11:30 AM SLT, hang out with us, and be one of the first to glimpse and grab the celebratory 12th anniversary avatar. The nature of this particular avatar required us to select a remote island for our gathering as well as implement a strict quarantine on the subject, so you’re going to have to drop by our tropical jungle destination to find out what it is.

While we hope you can make it to the meetup, we understand that schedules, timezones, and such make it impossible for everyone to make every meetup. With this in mind, the avatar kiosk will be available until midnight SLT on June 12th for you to stop by and pick up your prerelease avatar. That means, even if you can’t come to the Tiki party, you can still get early access to the avatar.

So, get ready to slip into your flip flops and gigantic floppy hat and join us for some fun in the sun at this Premium exclusive inworld meetup - honest to goodness, it should be the ginchiest!



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SL12B Premium Meetup

Join the party! You're invited to a Tiki Beach Bash, just for Premium members! Join us inworld from 10:30-11:30 a.m. (SLT) on Thursday, June 11. You'll get early access to a free SL12B avatar, too! Be sure to claim it before 11:59 p.m. on the 12th or you’ll have to wait until it’s available for everyone.

Visit in Second Life
Linden Lab

When it’s cold outside, nothing sounds better than a warm spot on the couch next to a roaring fire, a cup of hot cocoa, and a little getaway time in a cozy alpine cabin.

This winter season, Premium Second Life members can relax in their very own winter vacation home by stopping by the Premium Gift Kiosks and grabbing their free Premium gift.

This charming home-away-from-home features a scripted door for added security, extra textures for the exterior, and other features. If you’ve been collecting the weekly Swaginator gifts, you’ll find this cabin in the perfect place to decorate with those gifts or give it your own personal flair with your unique decorative eye.

If you’re a Premium Resident already, don’t hesitate, and log on now to grab your gift!

Not yet a Premium member? Upgrade to Premium* and grab your cabin today!

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Linden Lab

Place Pages are Linden-hosted web pages  for every Second Life location listed in Search, which landowners can customize and make their own. These pages make it easier to discover great places in SL and give Residents another way to promote their destinations.

We started a limited Beta program for this feature back in January 2017. This allowed us to respond with tweaks and polish to help get it to where it is today. This current offering is our “Unrestricted Access” release, which now allows all landowners to access their Place Pages and personalize them. Many of these pages will also soon be discoverable via popular search engines, such as Google. This means that more people than ever have the potential to learn about your Second Life place!

Moving forward, we’ll be continuing to improve Place Pages with more user-facing features, so stay tuned! For more information, visit the Place Pages Knowledge Base. A forum thread was also started for those wish to get even more history or would just like to leave us feedback.

Check out these example Place Pages:

The Pen
Time Portal

We hope you enjoy this new feature and look forward to see even more places to discover and explore!

Linden Lab

11.07.2014 - For a technical update on specific performance metrics since the launch of our performance improvements, please check out this blog in Tools and Technology.

 

Has Second Life seemed a bit faster for you lately? Improving performance for all Second Life users has been an important focus for us at Linden Lab, and we’ve recently seen some great results from several projects that should make your Second Life experiences faster, smoother, and more reliable.

 

Speeding Up the Marketplace
If you visit the Marketplace today, you should be seeing a much snappier experience than in the past. We recently deployed infrastructure upgrades for the Marketplace, and the site has since shown some of the best performance we’ve ever seen from it. Even during peak usage periods over the weekend, when in the past performance would degrade, we’re seeing response times that average 70% faster and page load times that are 30% faster than before the changes.

 

Improving Group Chat
Last week, we also deployed new group chat server configurations. Our internal metrics are showing dramatic improvements in group chat performance, and we hope that you’re seeing that in your own experience as well. We are still seeing some cases in which performance for some groups degrades for shorter periods of time than before, and we are continuing to investigate and make changes; the project isn't finished, but we've made a lot of progress.

 

Faster Texture & Mesh Loading
The entire grid is now using a CDN service for textures and meshes. This change means that textures and meshes should load more quickly, particularly for those who login to Second Life from places that are far from our US data centers. Our testing showed dramatic improvements: average download times for textures and meshes have been reduced by more than 50% on average, and the improvement is even more dramatic outside of North America.

 

Quicker Viewer-Server Communications
Another way we’re enhancing Second Life performance is through our HTTP project, which improves the way your Viewer communicates with grid services. With the HTTP Project Viewer out now, the faster content download times you’ll see thanks to the CDN change get even better - we’re talking 80% faster!

As you look for these improvements, please bear in mind this important note from Oz Linden:

The CDN (and HTTP in those viewers that have them) improvements for texture and mesh data are improvements to how long it takes to download the data. Once they've been downloaded, your viewer caches them locally so the next time you need that data it doesn't need to download them at all. What that means is that these improvements mostly affect how quickly you see new things: places and objects you've never seen before. You probably won't see a big difference in familiar places because your viewer should be using cached data for those.


So... now's the time to try checking out places you've never seen before!


The use of pipelined HTTP for the initial load of your inventory when you log in matters every time, since while we cache some inventory data locally we always make sure it's correct by loading it all at the beginning of your session. 

So, How’s Second Life Performing for You?

Performance improvements are generally behind-the-scenes work, and we know it’s not always as exciting as rolling out a new feature, but these changes directly impact all our Second Life experiences and our daily lives inworld. We hope you’re starting to notice the effects of these improvements - if you are, please let us know in the Forums, on Twitter, or however you prefer.

Don't forget to grab the latest Official Viewer to experience the improvements. 

 

Linden Lab

 

We are thrilled to re-introduce the Community Gateway Program!  Previously, the Community Gateway program helped bring new users to Second Life, by enabling Second Life communities to attract, register, an on-board new Residents. The program was shelved in 2010 as resources were reprioritized, and now we're excited to reintroduce the Community Gateway program along with some improvements that will make it even more valuable to Second Life.  We recognize the benefit of having Resident supported tutorial areas and have been working with several communities while fine tuning the new program over the last year.  

This program allows Second Life Communities to:

  • Create a new user experience and attract Residents to your specific community

  • Assist those new Residents in beginning their journey into Second Life

  • Lend a guiding hand in the creation of their new avatar personas

  • Assist with increasing new user retention.  

This powerful new tool will allow you to register new users right from your own community website and add them automatically to your group, thus helping your community to grow!

All details about this program (including how to apply) may be found here.

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London City Community Gateway  

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Firestorm Community Gateway

Linden Lab

You may have heard that over the past few years, in addition to continually improving Second Life (Bento anyone?), Linden Lab has also had a team developing a brand new platform that runs separately from SL.

That platform is called Sansar, and it’s designed to enable people to easily create, share, and ultimately sell their own social VR experiences, which can be used on PCs as well as with head-mounted displays (HMDs) like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Though there are some conceptual similarities with SL, Sansar’s been built from the ground up with very different approaches in many areas, including scale, discovery, performance, design and ease of use, and the platform’s business model to name just a few. Sansar is very different from Second Life, and it’s not a sequel nor a replacement.

Over the past months, the Sansar team has run a limited “creator preview” program, and some of SL’s most talented creators have been among those invited to test the platform. They’ve created some amazing experiences - from immersive artworks to narrative experiences, educational spaces, games, fantasy words, sci-fi scenes, roleplaying environments, and much more. Today, Sansar’s creator beta opens to everyone, which means you can create your own experiences with Sansar, list virtual items for sale in the Store, and explore the creations others have published.

If that sounds interesting, you can sign up for free at Sansar.com right now. A few things to bear in mind:

  • You don’t have to have an HMD to use Sansar. You can create and explore in desktop mode - but the VR experience is highly recommended.

  • It’s free. Free to join, free to create your own experiences, free to explore.

  • It’s a beta. It’s a big step for the new platform, and it’s also just the beginning. Many Second Life Residents - especially those interested in VR - will love what they can do with Sansar today. But there are still many features and capabilities yet to be added. Just as SL has dramatically improved with new additions over time (remember the days before voice? before Windlight? before mesh?), there’s a lot the team is looking forward to quickly adding to Sansar.

  • Only you can use your SL name as your Sansar avatar ID. Sansar’s name system is different than SL’s. Everyone has a unique “avatar ID” (like a username) and an avatar name, which doesn’t need to be unique (like a display name). If you’re JohnDoe Resident in SL, no one else can use JohnDoe-Resident as their Sansar avatar ID. Stay tuned for info on how to claim your avatar ID; for now, if you try to use an SL name as a Sansar avatar ID you’ll get a ‘not available’ error.

Second Life Is Here to Stay!

We want to be very clear that the opening of Sansar’s beta does not at all change our love of and dedication to SL.

We are continuing to invest in Second Life, and the SL team (which is separate from the team developing Sansar) remains absolutely dedicated to Second Life and all of its Residents. We’re working hard on some new projects to make Second Life even better, and we won’t be stopping. As always, keep an eye on this blog for updates on exciting upcoming SL developments.

Linden Lab

In March, OnLive introduced SL Go - a service that brings the Second Life Viewer to mobile devices. The service had previously been available for Android devices, but today brings an exciting expansion: SL Go is now available for the iPad!

With SL Go, you can now access Second Life on your iPad using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE and enjoy a high-fidelity experience with great graphics quality, full shaders, shadows, and full motion capability. SL Go gives you access to the full Second Life Viewer interface, including edit menus, inventory, preference settings and chat management, adding intuitive touch controls.

To use SL Go on your iPad, you’ll need an OnLive account to launch the app, and then you’ll log into Second Life with the same credentials you’ve always used. To learn more about SL Go, including pricing and regional availability, and to get started with a free trial, visit https://games.onlive.com/landing/slgo

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Xiola Linden

Spring Equinox is coming - even if the East Coast of the USA didn’t get the memo - and we can’t properly bid adieu to the chill of the Winter winds without another epic Snowball Fight!

That means it’s time for one last Snowdown Showdown - before the snow melts! Join us this Friday, March 17th from 9:00 to 10:00 AM SLT and 1:00 to 2:00 PM SLT - to enjoy the thrill of the chill and the fun of pummelling one another with tons of virtual snowballs!

Lindens and Residents run amok through the icy castle towers and tunnels, the sky pours snowballs, and the good times roll!

Mark the time and date in your calendars and don’t miss this last chance to enjoy the Snowball Fight Arena before the Winter Wonderland regions come down.
 

Xiola Linden

Spring has technically sprung, and while there is evidence of it in the cherry blossoms and greening of leaves, there are still some hints of winter lingering around - even in Second Life.

We have to take advantage of the snowball fight arena at the Winter Wonderlands region before the snow fully melts - and we want you to come have ice-hurling fun with us on Friday, March 25th, from 10 am - Noon SLT and 2 - 4 PM SLT.  If you missed the last snowball fight now is your chance to come pelt some friends and Lindens with soft, fluffy balls of frozen fun. Grab your snow-launching weapons from the kiosks, get some practice in, and be sure to make the trek to the top of the ice castle to take in the amazing view.

Mark the time and date in your calendars and don’t miss this last chance to enjoy the Snowball Fight Arena before the Winter Wonderland regions come down at the end of this month.

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One Final Snow Fight

Take advantage of the snowball fight arena at the Winter Wonderlands region before the snow fully melts! Have ice-hurling fun with the Lindens on Friday, March 25th from 10 a.m.- noon and 2 - 4 p.m. (Pacific).

Visit in Second Life

 

FJ Linden

We recently began beta testing a new system that enables our international customers to use local currencies and other local payment methods when purchasing Linden dollars and conducting other financial transactions with Linden Lab. We want to make it easier, and less expensive, for our international customers to shop and do business in Second Life. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to use your own currency, or PayPal, to purchase Linden dollars and also save money on fees? We think so too.

Based on our beta testing to date, we’ve learned a lot and discovered a few issues that we want to change and improve. So, I wanted to share our progress and what to expect as we roll this capability out to all international users later this year.

 

  • Recent Billing Issues Will Not Affect Your Account Status: For those that have run into billing glitches, let me put your mind at ease. Some international customers have tried to pay us (to keep their account current) and they were unable to complete the transaction. If you’ve encountered this problem, then please accept our apologies. Rest assured that everyone who was not able to provide payments, due to this system issue, have already had their accounts manually restored as we work to implement a fix. The affected accounts are still in good standing and these customers will not lose their status or land as a consequence.
  • Local Payments Will be Available in all Supported Viewers: Another concern that has been raised by the community is whether users can purchase Linden dollars using local currencies in Viewer 1.23. The answer is yes, although some people using Viewer 1.23 may have run into issues purchasing Linden dollars a few weeks ago. The issue has since been fixed. Now, customers who are in this beta can purchase Linden dollars using all supported Viewers.
  • We Need to Make the Local Payments System Easier to Use: On the usability side, we have beta tested local payments with new and current international customers and we’ve found we need some additional usability work to ensure that purchasing Linden dollars (and other transactions) is an easier, intuitive experience. While we are doing that, we will not add any new or current Residents to the beta system instead they will stay on the standard payments system.  But if you have already been using the local payments beta version, then you will continue to do so while we continue getting ready for a wider roll out.


In late July, we’ll be ready to provide all of our international customers with comprehensive local payment options in a system that works seamlessly and is easy to use. I’ll be updating you again as we get closer to releasing the system. Thanks for you patience as we work out the kinks.

And, if you have additional questions about the system, then there’s a comprehensive Local Payments article with a Help and Frequently Asked Questions (including how to contact Support) in English, Français, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Português, and 日本語.

Note: This blog post is also available in Français, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Português, and 日本語.

Linden Lab

A few months ago, we released a Project Viewer that made it possible to use the first generation Oculus Rift development kit (DK1) anywhere in Second Life.

Since then, Oculus Rift has released a second generation development kit, DK2. The new hardware offers an even more immersive experience when used with Second Life - there’s less likelihood of feeling motion sick thanks to the motion-tracking features, and less of the “screen-door effect” on the visuals, thanks to higher resolution and brighter display.

We’ve integrated the DK2 with Second Life, and today are releasing a new Project Viewer so that virtual reality enthusiasts with the DK2 can use it anywhere in Second Life, just as DK1 users can.

Unfortunately, though, there are still some bugs impacting the experience, which we won’t be able to fix until we receive the next SDK from Oculus Rift. Because Second Life uses OpenGL in its browser, we cannot support direct mode in the Rift until Oculus releases a version of the SDK that supports that.

In addition, juddering is an issue (as it is with most DK2 demos).This can be significantly improved on Windows by turning off Aero, which allows the Rift to use its full refresh rate rather than being limited to the refresh rate of the primary monitor. This refresh rate is a major factor in the judder and turning off Aero can significantly improve your experience.

We’ll continue to fix bugs and improve the experience as quickly as we can once we get the next SDK, but in the meantime, we wanted to get this Project Viewer out into testers’ hands. If you have an Oculus Rift development kit, you can download the new Project Viewer here.

Here again is our video to help you get started using the Oculus Rift with Second Life.

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Linden Lab

Last month, we blogged about some of the projects we’re working on to improve Second Life, and today, we’re happy to share that one of those changes has become a part of the default Second Life Viewer: hover height adjustments.

As a reminder, here’s what this change means (quoted from our previous post):

 

One of the surprisingly difficult things to do in a virtual world is to make things come to rest in a natural-looking way. Keeping feet on the ground when standing and the right body parts on furniture seems obvious, but getting an avatar to "just touch" without either floating above or penetrating into the adjacent surface can be computationally quite expensive. To avoid some of that expense, Second Life has always used approximations, which rely on some simplifying assumptions about the avatar shape and size. Those assumptions are adjusted by a number of factors including several of your shape parameter choices, values included in attachments you are wearing, and active animations.

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As we've all seen, sometimes these things combine to leave you floating above or sinking into the surface on which intuitively you should be resting. This is because the adjustments come from many sources and sometime interact in unexpected ways. Because they have not always been applied in exactly the same order, even if you wear the same set of attachments in the same setting you could sometimes get different results.

This Viewer, and some accompanying server changes, improve things in two ways: the order in which we make adjustments to your vertical position has been made more stable -- combining the same set of attachments and animations should now always produce the same vertical offset: even if it's not perfect, it will at least be predictable. Because it can't always be perfect, we've also introduced a new final adjustment that is directly under your control: a new avatar right-click selection allows you to tweak your vertical position. This final adjustment is shared with everyone around you so that they too will see you correctly, and is saved locally by your viewer so that it persists between sessions. This new feature was inspired by a proposal from the Firestorm viewer team, and they've been helping with testing it.

This new feature is now available to everyone as part of the default Second Life Viewer. Update to the latest version and start enjoying this improvement today!

Linden Lab

November Update

New Viewer Gives Second Life Users a Customizable User Interface
for a More Flexible Workspace


With the launch of the new Second Life Viewer on Nov. 8, Second Life Residents can now customize their user interface for a more flexible workspace.  

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New customizable functionality includes:

  • Drag-and-drop buttons on the toolbar so Residents can change ordering, move buttons from one toolbar to another and choose which buttons appear
  • An option to choose one, two or three toolbars
  • The option to select either icons or labels


The new Viewer also makes it easy for new Residents to find the essential basic functions, as well as access more advanced functionality as they grow in Second Life.

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New-user functionality includes:


  • How-to window provides easy, step-by-step instructions for common tasks
  • Destinations button offers interesting destinations
  • Avatars button allows Residents to choose and immediately change their avatar
  • Inventory button lets Residents see the things they own
  • Shop button takes Residents to the Second Life Marketplace

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By merging the Basic and Advanced modes, users no longer need to switch between modes, which improves usability – and ultimately enhances the Second Life inworld experience.

For further details on how to get the most out of the new Second Life Viewer, please check out the following video tutorials:





Inbox Messaging Gives Second Life Residents
a More Efficient Way to Communicate
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Did you know that you are now able to send a message from your inbox to anyone in Second Life who accepts messages from you?

Whether you are a merchant and want to ask your customers about their experiences with your products, or you simply want to keep in touch with friends, the addition of the profile inbox will help you better communicate.kLQetVR0iCS67FnLYg9s4d-z4X3Z2OKZAypdseKut7V9UDaGzO3n7zDC7QMY0Ra5Ga-4aCUpjHHzCY5LGvavv88jPRbodjrc37vOxYFEo7d74EKNoQU

Because you can view and track your messages, inbox messaging also allows you to better manage conversations. And because the inbox is available on the web, you don't have to be logged in to Second Life to read and send messages.

If you would like to contact someone who is not in your friends list, you can send them a message directly from their profile by choosing “Message” from the drop-down envelope icon.gHu_AF8hpBpwpeZsA4ILfMCjCFqcnh_ScAJtLefpU_CJGj6PJbfBYiSUvN8aPy25BnumjDEmQI2evGgZyEdW0ALjD3fCr4GCTn4gBdSI2YraQuYK0pA

Although direct messages to other users don't appear in your profile feed (even if that's set to public), if you are still concerned about your privacy, your profile settings allow you to control who sends you messages and how you get notified.

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